West Texas carbon dioxide plant starts up

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Nov. 8
-- SandRidge Energy Inc., Oklahoma City, began operation of its Century gas treatment plant in Pecos County, Tex., on Sept. 26.

The Val Verde basin plant was processing 85-90 MMcfd of raw gas in early November, and SandRidge and is troubleshooting compressor vibration issues. The company calls the plant the largest single industrial source carbon dioxide capture facility in North America.

SandRidge plans to shift a further 170 MMcfd of raw gas from nearby legacy plants to Century by the end of November, by which time all of the high-CO2 gas the company produces will be processed at Century.

SandRidge will retain and sell the methane separated from the inlet gas, while Occidental Petroleum Corp., a partner in the Century plant, will ship the extracted CO2 for use in Oxy’s enhanced oil recovery projects in the Permian basin (OGJ, Dec. 7, 2009, p. 41).

Oxy said the new CO2 stream is expected to hike its Permian output by as much as 50,000 boe/d within 5 years. The company operates 28 active CO2 projects in the basin.

SandRidge, meanwhile, has begun to emphasize oil and liquids drilling and production over gas the past 2 years. Continuance of this shift means it will run only a single rig in the Val Verde basin through the end of 2011, down from 34 rigs in the 2008 third quarter (OGJ, Nov. 24, 2008, p. 34). It therefore expects its gas production to decline.

The company holds 550,000 acres in the West Texas overthrust, about 500,000 acres of which expires in 2011-12. Pinon field proper is held by production.

Oxy said last month it expects the Century plant to yield about 180 MMcfd of CO2 next year to support its Permian EOR operations. Oxy said it is contracting additional CO2 from other sources and “will use penalty payments due from the operator for underproduction to support these activities.”

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